Welcome to Online Productivity, a project designed to help BPS educators become familiar with a few key tools that can help them get organized and prepare for 21st-Century Teaching.
In this self-paced tutorial, you’ll scale the very tip of the tech tools iceberg. As a result of your explorations, you will leave this experience able to:
- Create and use a blog
- Use social bookmarking to organize, sort, and describe your favorite Web sites so you can access them from any machine anywhere
- Learn an easy way to gather newspaper articles and blogs in a single location for personal enjoyment and professional growth
- Explore your choice of tools to help you organize your to-do list, keep track of information, learn about microblogging, or organize your classroom or personal library
- Bring all those tools together into a personalized home page that you can access from anywhere
- Reflect on what it all means
Future online professional development will be available throughout the 09-10 year, and your building media specialist is available throughout the school year to give advice or learn alongside you.
What is this project about? How is it organized?
This independent learning project is divided into steps (we call them “Explorations”) to help you experiment and experience a variety of tools. At first, you will likely view these tools through a personal lens, thinking of how they might help you keep up with professional reading (RSS), communicate with students and parents (blogs), cluster onine resources together (iGoogle home page) or organize your favorite Web sites (social bookmarking). As you become more familiar with how these tools have helped you, you’ll naturally extend your thinking into how these tools might impact how students learn in your classroom.
You will track your reflective thinking by setting up a blog (Exploration 3) and posting after each Exploration. You are encouraged to visit the blogs of other participants (listed in the blogroll in the right-hand column) to view their perspectives. Go ahead — leave them a comment of support or encouragement!
This journey is based on the past experiences of hundreds of prior participants around the world. All participants are welcome, but to help us keep track of you, we ask that you register through the registration form (see the link on the right sidebar) when you get to Exploration 2 and set up your blog.
What is the timeline?
You have until September 1, 2009, to complete this project. While you can work at any speed, we’ve divided the journey into weekly components for those who like a bit more structure.
Can I get credit or PD hours for this?
Yup. 5 hours on KALPA.
How do I navigate the project?
You can click on the links below to get to the directions for each step, or click on the Exploration number under the categories list in the near-right column.
Will there be face-to-face instruction? What about tech support?
This is a self-paced independent study course running on volunteer manpower. However, your school library media specialist is available to help you if you run into a snag. (We’re sorry, but we can’t help you with home computer repairs or troubleshooting.)
Where did this idea come from? Who is behind the scenes!
This project was inspired by and adapted from Helene Blowers and her Learning 2.0 project, portions of which are replicated here under a Creative Commons license.
What are the Explorations?
Click on the links to be taken to more detailed information about each Exploration. Beginning with Exploration 2 you will note your reflections and observations in your blog. You are welcome to move at your own pace, but if you like more structure, you can pace yourself with weekly tasks.
Week of June 15: Getting Started
1. Read through this project home page to learn about the program.
2. Set up your own blog, write a few practice posts, and register your blog with our project.
Week of June 22: Keeping Track of Web Resources
3. Organize your favorite and bookmarked Web sites with Del.icio.us
Week of July 6: Finding and Using RSS Feeds & Other Tools for Personal Growth and Professional Development
4. Learn about RSS feeds and set up your an account to gather them in one place.
5. Learn about at least one of these tools to keep you organized: microblogging (Twitter), to-do lists (Remember the Milk), the photos and little bits of information that you used to write on scraps of paper (Evernote), or your reading log or personal library (LibraryThing).
Week of July 13: iGoogle
6. Bring in all these tools into a personalized iGoogle home page.
Week of July 20: Reflection
7. Summarize your thoughts, lessons learned, and new undertstandings that might transfer to your classroom next year.
Now that you’ve read through this page, you’ve completed Exploration 1. (That was easy!) Let’s go on to Exploration 2 and set up a blog.